Did you know you can get sunscreen especially for pets? If you find yourself putting on sunscreen before a dog walk, it makes sense to put some on your dog too! Your dog’s nose, ears and belly are the most exposed areas on your dog, where the hair is finer and shorter, so these are the key places to apply sunscreen.
The sunlight can be reflected from the ground, so even though your pup’s belly isn’t going to be in direct sunlight on a walk, they could easily be burned from the reflection, and the closer their tummy is to the ground, the more likely they can be burned this way.
Just like us, pets can get painful sunburn and skin cancer. You should use pet-safe sunscreen because human sunscreen can have toxins which could harm your pet.
The advice to avoid sunburn for humans is generally the same for our pets too; these tips include:
- Avoid taking them out in the sun during the hottest part of the day.
- Cover up – either keep your pet’s hair long enough to protect their skin (although not too long as they may get overheated) or, if they are sunbathing, cover them up with a lightweight rug to keep them cool or you could buy a sun suit for your pet – these are most popular with hairless breeds.
- You can even buy sunglasses especially designed to protect your dog’s eyes from dangerous UV rays – plus, they make a fun fashion accessory!
- Hot pavements are also something to look out for! Place the back of your hand on the pavement for 7 seconds to judge whether you would be happy to walk comfortably barefoot. Your pet’s paws are sensitive and will get burnt if they have to walk on hot pavements, you should therefore walk them during the cooler parts of the day or go to a grassy park where you can avoid pavements and roads.